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Nausha wins Musidora Stakes at York for trainer Roger Varian

Nausha wins at York

Nausha continued trainer Roger Varian’s fine run of form by winning the Musidora Stakes at York.

The 14-1 shot, ridden by Andrea Atzeni, held off the challenges of Entitle and Frankellina, who dead heated for second in a thrilling finish.

Bookmakers reacted by cutting the winner to about 16-1 (from 25-1) for the Oaks at Epsom on 31 May.

But Frankellina, a daughter of top stallion Frankel, is lower in the betting at 10-1.

Varian won the Nell Gwyn Stakes at Newmarket last month with Qabala, who went on to finish third in the 1,000 Guineas.

He has also enjoyed successes in the 2019 Flat racing season with the likes of Cape Byron, Sharja Bridge and UAE Jewel.

Derby hopes do battle in Dante

Too Darn Hot, favourite for the Derby at Epsom on 1 June, lines up in a hot renewal of the Dante Stakes at York on Thursday.

Frankie Dettori will again be aboard the unbeaten colt – rated Europe’s top juvenile racehorse of 2018 – who makes a belated seasonal return for trainer John Gosden after missing the 2,000 Guineas with a leg problem.

But Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien is looking to complete a remarkable clean sweep of the Derby trials with Japan, who runs for the first time since edging out stablemate Mount Everest at Naas in September.

Godolphin hopes rest on the Charlie Appleby-trained Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf victor Line Of Duty.

Varian saddles the 14-length Newcastle winner Surfman, while Hughie Morrison is represented by the impressive Windsor scorer Telecaster.

Almania (Sir Michael Stoute) and Nayef Road (Mark Johnston) complete the line-up.

Analysis

Cornelius Lysaght, BBC Horse Racing correspondent:

With three of them finishing within a few inches of each other, there’s a good chance that this year’s Musidora won’t have quite as big a say on the Oaks as it has on occasions in the past.

In fact none of the trio is 100% committed to run. A decision about Nausha will be made once Roger Varian has got his head around whether this mile-and-a-quarter distance or the extra quarter-mile of the Epsom Classic will suit best – interestingly, Andrea Atzeni said “she’s not slow” which could mean he’s inclined towards the shorter option.

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BBC Sport – Horse Racing

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